Hi! Lori here, welcoming you to another episode of Real English Conversations from BetterAtEnglish.com. In today’s conversation, which is the first of three parts, my English friend Michael and I talk about junk food and television advertising. Before you listen to the conversation, you might want to warm up and activateyour existing vocabulary by thinking about the following questions:
1) What is junk food anyway, and how does it differ from healthy food?
2) Do junk food ads on TV influence you in any way?
3) Do you think that junk food ads should be banned on TV when children are likely to be watching?
4) What challenges do parents face when trying to get their children to eat healthy foodinstead of junk food?
If you want to read along as you listen, you can find the full transcript and vocabulary notes on our website, www.BetterAtEnglish.com.
OK, here we go with the conversation!
Michael: You know, I was reading an article just yesterday in the news that the government in England is bringing in a law to make it illegal to show TV advertisements forjunk food. On any…
Michael: …but on any programmes that are targeted at the under-16s, so kids’ programmes…
Lori: Ah ha.
Michael: Umm, they’re going to completely outlaw it, umm…and…and… I mean, junk food, I mean, it’s anything — that’s from McDonalds to any kind of food that’s high in fat or sugar or anything like that — it’s…and it’s something that people have beentalking about for years, you know, that…that…how bad junk food is for people.
Michael: Umm…but I was just really amazed that the government is taking such a strong action you know, just something across the board.
Michael: You know, umm…but I think…errr…from what I can remember, the advertising standards were…people were saying that they wanted to ban alljunk food ads before 9 o’clock.
Lori: Ah ha.
Michael: Which…which in…in…in Britain, we have this thing called the…the “9pm watershed.”
Michael: I don’t know if you’re familiar with that?
Lori: Yeah, I think it’s the same…In the…the States, they talk about a watershed.
Michael: Right…right it’s sort of like after…after 9pm then they’re allowed to show more “adult”programmes, where they have maybe nudity and violence and things like that, so…
Lori: Yeah, all that good stuff!
Michael: So, umm…You know, but it…I just thought that it was really amazing that the government would take such a strong stance because…errr…do you remember the film…ahh…what’s it called? The…the…the one…ummm… Supersize Me?
Lori: Oh yeah, yeah, thedocumentary.
Michael: Yeah, the documentary that they…
Michael: You know, I mean, I don’t see how anybody could watch that documentary, see the evidence and then try to deny how unhealthy junk food is.
Lori: Right…well you have to remember that was a study of “n=1” and, I mean, that there…there was probably some bias going into it, so I mean…
Michael: Oh…yeah…Lori: …as far as a scientific study goes, you know, you…you really couldn’t…couldn’t…umm read too much into that, but I mean, it is suggestive, it does suggest that… that you know, that junk food isn’t good for us, and it’s basic sound…principles of sound nutrition…
Michael: Right, yeah.
Lori: ...that if you’re eating a lot of processed, carbohydrates and sugars…
Michael: Yeah, sugary,yeah.
Lori: …and fats and no fiber and no vegetables and…
Lori: …especially in such huge quantities.
Michael: Right…right, I mean it’s…it’s the thing with the advertising though is that ummm…with the junk food manufacturers targeting young kids…
Michael: Ummm…I mean, this is something that…that advertisers have been doing for years because they know...